Rainbow Pride Flag
5' x 3' (150cm x 90 cm)
Made from 100% Polyester
Fitted with two eyelets for hoisting
The rainbow flag, sometimes called 'the freedom flag', has been used as a symbol of gay and lesbian pride since the 1980s. The different colours symbolize diversity in the gay community, and the flag is often used a s a symbol of gay pride in gay rights marches. It originated in the United States, but is now used around the world.
The rainbow flag was first used to symbolize gay pride and diversity by San Francisco artist Gilbert Baker; as of 2003, it currently consists of six colored stripes of red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet. It is most commonly flown with the red stripe on top as the colors appear in a natural rainbow.
There was some use of similar multi-colored flags in the USA in the early 1970s as a symbol of internationalism and unity of all people of earth, but by the end of the 1970s the rainbow flag's connection with gay pride became generally known in the United States.
The original gay-pride flag was hand-dyed by Baker. It first flew in the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade on June 25, 1978. The flag consisted of eight stripes: Baker assigned specific meaning to each of the colors.
After the November 27, 1978 assassination of openly gay City Supervisor Harvey Milk, demand for the rainbow flag greatly increased. To meet demand, the Paramount Flag Company began selling a version of the flag using stock rainbow fabric consisting of seven stripes of red, orange, yellow, green, turquoise, blue, and violet. As Baker ramped up production of his version of the flag, he too dropped the hot pink stripe due to the unavailability of hot-pink fabric. Also, San Francisco-based Paramount Flag Co. began selling a surplus stock of Rainbow Girls flags from its Polk Street retail store which was located in a large gay neighborhood.
In 1979, the flag was modified again. When hung vertically from the lamp posts of San Francisco's Market Street. The center stripe was obscured by the post itself.
Changing the flag design to one with an even number of stripes was the easiest way to rectify this, so the turquoise s tripe was dropped, which resulted in a six stripe version of the flag – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet.